Clinical Uses of the Chest Radiograph




Key Point





  • The chest radiograph is contributory in the workup of many clinical situations. This chapter gives a suggested list of useful applications of the chest radiograph and a reiteration of what information is sought on the chest radiograph in particular clinical contexts.





Chest Pain


In the workup of a chest pain syndrome, the chest radiograph is useful, if not mandatory, to evaluate the following:




  • Pleural effusions (supports pleural disease [i.e., inflammation] or congestive heart failure)



  • Heart size (indicates cardiac disease but does not distinguish pericardial from myocardial, valvular, or other types)



  • Radiographic signs of congestive heart failure



  • Aortic size and contour; these may suggest aortic disease



  • Skeletal disease



  • Esophageal hernia (hiatal hernia)



  • Pneumonia





Acute Coronary Syndromes


In the workup of a patient with an acute coronary syndrome, the chest radiograph is useful, if not mandatory, to evaluate the following:




  • Heart size (which indirectly suggests left ventricular dysfunction)



  • Radiographic signs of congestive heart failure





Congestive Heart Failure


In the workup of a patient with congestive heart failure, the chest radiograph is useful, if not mandatory, to evaluate the following:




  • Heart size (which indirectly suggests left ventricular dysfunction)



  • Radiographic signs and severity of congestive heart failure



  • Valve calcification



  • Valve prosthesis type and position



Apr 10, 2019 | Posted by in General Surgery | Comments Off on Clinical Uses of the Chest Radiograph
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